Imagine you’re working away at your computer, and suddenly – BAM! A pop-up notification tells you that your PC is infected with a virus, urging you to “click here” to run a scan or install antivirus software. Sounds familiar? Well, I’m here to tell you that this is a common scareware tactic hackers use to make you click and download a virus. (And just so you know, we would NEVER deliver that pop-up to you!)

These sneaky pop-ups often look like legitimate system alerts or Microsoft operating system alerts. But no matter how real they seem, NEVER click on the site or the pop-up.

Here’s the safest way to handle it:

  • Close your browser (avoid clicking on the X, “Close” or “Cancel” button in the pop-up or on the site, as doing so can trigger a virus download).
  • If that doesn’t work, use task manager (hold Control + Alt + Delete on a PC and Command + Option + Esc to “Force Quit” on a Mac) to close the web browser or application where it appeared.
  • Notify your IT department (us!) so we can double-check with a legitimate scan if your computer is infected. 

Got questions about cybersecurity or your company’s technology? We’re here to help!